Huffpost New York

Paterson steps up to "level the playing field."

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What do three of the last four governors have in common?

Promises to increase opportunities for minority and women owned firms.

Well, here's something that shocking and how could it exist in a liberal state like New York?

We already know that New York is one of the most ethnically diverse states:

-Has the second highest number of women-owned businesses

-And New York has the third highest number of minority-owned business enterprises

Yet the reality is at the end of the day, when it comes to spending money with such businesses, New York State currently falls behind eight other states.

Yes, some will yell "affirmative action," but can anyone deny these businesses known as "MWBE's" have historically had difficulty securing capital and business opportunities. Of course a problem that has become more severe with the weak economy.

This has been an issue near and dear to Governor Paterson's heart, and give him credit for acting on the results of his task force on this matter.

Cuomo, Pataki, Spitzer talked about solving the problem. Paterson will leave office knowing he did something to help minority and women owned businesses.

Thursday the Governor will sign MWBE legislation into law, all aimed at establishing a "level playing field." He's also going to sign the Emerging Investment Managers Bill, which is to encourage MWBE's to take a much greater role in the management of assets held by state fiduciary-controlled entities.

Paterson will make the announcement in the Art Gallery of the Harlem State Office Building at 11:00 AM this Thursday.

Read the whole story at Room Eight